Becoming PRO-fessional: what do you do when your blog doesn’t know what it wants to be?

choices crossroads

The Daily Post has some wonderful advice for beginners (like me) on sprucing your blog up and getting people to read it. The most practical takeaways (according to yours truly):

  1. You need better titles
    1. I can’t think of how to describe this need except to filch some great examples:
      1. The History of Philosophy, in Superhero Comics
      2. Henry James on Aging, Memory, and What Happiness Really Means
      3. J.R.R. Tolkien’s Little-Known, Gorgeous Art
  2. You can shorten your URLs to be more search-engine friendly!
  3. The biggest one, though, is that you should know

WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR BLOG

If you had to make a business card with the name and address of your blog (in a naturally tasteful typeset that perfectly conveys the tone you’re going for) and a tweet-sized statement of what it’s about — what would you put? “Walrus training and gourmet baking”? “Lots of my opinions on whatever I deem important”? “Literally my entire diet in Instagrams”?
Continue reading “Becoming PRO-fessional: what do you do when your blog doesn’t know what it wants to be?”

For my fellow writers: pump your imagery in 10 minutes

frustrated writer

It’s hard to find good creative writing prompts. Most of the ones I’ve seen online are too generic and cliched, and don’t actually inspire you towards good writing practices.

“Write about the ‘fickle finger of Fate.’ ” “Write about something ugly–war, fear, hate, or cruelty–but find the beauty (silver lining) in it.” Bleh.

This one, however, from Method and Madness by Alice LaPlante (p. 69), is a gem for working on imagery. We tend to default to working with visuals only, because these details are the most immediately obvious — but what about all the other ways in which we experience the sensory world? This will help you vividly transport your readers right into the scene.

For best results, I recommend setting a timer for 10 minutes and writing nonstop until it stops — turn your inner editor off!

All set? Good. Here’s the prompt:

…imagine yourself blind and…describe the objects of the world around you without the sense of vision.

Have fun!

NtP out

Becoming PRO-fessional: getting my fiction mojo

word rose flower

My approach to becoming a professional writer is two-fold:

  1. blogging professionally (duh)
  2. learning to craft literary fiction

I love telling stories, and getting paid to do it would be a nice bonus! Almost three years ago, I got a great start in writing fiction thanks to a great teacher and mentor. I wrote two award-winning short stories (here’s one). Since then, however, I’ve let it languish, and I haven’t produced a single new story.

But that is going to change — and soon. Continue reading “Becoming PRO-fessional: getting my fiction mojo”